INDEPENDENT retailers in Leamington are being offered help to get a larger slice of the online shopping pie.
BID Leamington, which runs the Christmas shopping campaign, is helping town retailers highlight their online profile to allow them to make the most of the growth of internet shopping.
All independent retailers who trade online will feature in a special section of the www.loveleamington.com website to help them showcase their products and services.
Stephanie Kerr, BID Leamington director, said many of the town’s independent shops do trade online but find it difficult to get noticed on the major search engines and are competing with global brands.
She added: “As everyone knows, there has been a continuous increase in internet shopping which peaks just before Christmas.
“Many of our independent retailers trade online but don’t have the large marketing and online budgets to promote their own website, as national or international companies have.
“Those same local stores do have a very loyal customer base as they offer great products and a very good service, but not all their customers are aware that they are using e-commerce and we hope this site will alert them to that fact.
“I am sure that shoppers – if they are equipped with the information – would like to keep their online Christmas spend local and support a town centre business at the same time.
“The idea of this section of the site is to give our independent stores another shop window for them to showcase their products, and allow the town’s customers to quickly discover what local businesses are online.
“The website is very customer friendly, with categories including; independent retailers, national retailers, food and drink, and health and beauty, all featuring local businesses with both a high street and online product or service.”
Broadribb Cycles, in Bedford Street, is among the businesses joining the initiative after having traded online for the past ten years.
The company, which sells bicycles and trades online as Discount Cycles Direct, has shipped worldwide to locations including America, Australia, and Japan.
Dan Orton, website manager of Broadribbs, said: “Using e-commerce has been a real benefit for us as it allows us to provide the best of both worlds in terms of face-to-face customer service and a range of stock online which we wouldn’t have space for in store.
“Our online store not only gives us more buying power but also helps us spot trends in the market which has allowed us to recently add a range of electric bikes to our Leamington branch.
“Christmas is our busiest time of year and we’ve also recently set up a click and collect service so we anticipate that joining an established website such as loveleamington.com will not just gain us major local exposure but also boost our online sales too.”